| It's still a few weeks away from the annual Black Friday sales frenzy, but this year we've already seen a fair amount of promotional activity prior to the three-day event itself. And given the lackluster TV sales so far this year, we expect the promotional activity to continue, and perhaps increase, right through the holiday buying season. |
In the event that the pre-Black Friday specials aren't enough to entice you to shop early, several of the major chains have announced they'll be opening their doors earlier than ever on Black Friday—some, including Best Buy and Target, at midnight, so that so-called "doorbuster specials" will begin at that hour rather than the more customary 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. Friday morning. And for those who can't get out until later, many retailers have announced extended store hours for Black Friday shoppers.
Of course, while all this promotional activity can create excitement, the real question for those actually looking to buy a TV this year is how low will TV prices go this Black Friday weekend? Based on what we’ve already seen, both from early sales and some leaked Black Friday circulars, (including Walmart's) there should be some great deals this year. So here is what we expect to see during the Black Friday weekend:
$200 32-inch LCD TVsIt looks like $200 will be the opening price for 32-inch LCD TVs this weekend, a great deal for anyone looking for a TV for a smaller room of the house or apartment. Both Target and Best Buy have already hit this price during Black Friday pre-sales, and Walmart will have a $188 Emerson set for Black Friday. We expect others to repeat these deals over the Thanksgiving weekend.
$300 for an off-brand 40-inch LCD TV.We've already seen some basic 40-inch sets from secondary brands in the $330 to $350 range during pre-Black Friday sales events, so it's likely a few could hit a promotional price of $250 during the weekend, leaving room for a major brand to come in at $350. But at this price, these will be fairly bare-bone sets without many—or any—extra features.
$400 42-inch TVsWalmart has already offered a 42-inch LCD TV for this amount, and we expect others will follow suit. BJ's, for example, will have a 40-inch 1080p from Sansui for $400, but we expect to see some basic sets from major brands at this price as well. It's even conceivable that there will be very basic 46-inch 1080p LCD TVs from promotional brands flirting with $400 price points during limited-time sales events.
$500 50-inch setsRemember just a year ago when $500 was a great price for a 42-inch 720p plasma? Our belief is that this year that same amount could yield a 50- or 51-inch 720p plasma, perhaps even from a major brand. Best Buy has already offered a 46-inch Panasonic 720p plasma for $480. We also expect to see a number of 46-inch 1080p LCD TVs from a few major brands in this range.
Based on what we've seen, it looks like this could be a great Black Friday for those interested in getting a new TV. Of course, the dilemma is always whether to buy during Black Friday, or wait even longer to see if sales are slower than expected, triggering even more price cuts later in the season.